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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
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I sold a car cheap and now the buyer wants his money back.

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I sold a car cheap and now the buyer wants his money back. He pointed out 2 problems:
1. The maryland title is not in my name and the previous owner signed but the rest of the title is bland. He claims motor vehicle administration says he cannot get a title because the previous owner should have completed everything. This may be a fraud because I was never the owner on the title.
2. Car won't pass MD safety inspection and it needs alot of work to pass. He said I misrepresented the vehicle and should either fix for free or give all money back.

To address issue number 1. should I have the previous owner sign a bill of sale for this transaction so I'm safe from "curbstoning" law or should I transfer the title in my name first? Is it safe to transfer it at a neighboring state? (Virginia is much cheaper and they give the title on the spot). Or am I going to get in trouble for avoiding Maryland fees?

For 2nd issue:
I'm a car mechanic but not a dealer and we didn't sign any paperwork (no bill of sale, a mistake). Is there any implied mechanical warranty that he can claim in court? I told them verbally that it would not pass inspected but nothing is written down. The price they paid was about 30% below blue book value in lowest condition - fair ($1993). The car definitely drives great and has new brakes.

I'm more concerned about the curbstoning fines as long there is no implied warranty.

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1. You should have the previous owner sign title over to you because you are the one selling the vehicle. I doubt the previous owner would sign the title to your buyer because that would have legal implications for him and he had nothing to do with the transaction. You should transfer title in Maryland if that is where the transaction took place, otherwise you would leave yourself liable for attempting to evade Maryland taxes. The Maryland tax is payable in any event because that is ultimately where it will be registered;


2. There is no implied warranty when selling a used vehicle. The sale is "As Is", unless there is a written warranty. If there was nothing in writing, there is no warranty and you are not liable for any repairs.




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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I believe the previous owner is willing to sign a bill of sale for this transaction as long as the sale is as-is. Would you please elaborate on the curbstoning law and when they would usually prosecute? I don't want to be fined and this is the main issue. Also, what if the previous owner and I sign a bill of sale and exchange key in Virginia physically?

Hi, Kuang,


I wish I could predict the future, but unfortunately, I cannot. Therefore, I cannot say whether or not you would be prosecuted. In Maryland, if you are not a dealer, then the law expects your name to be on the owner's card, not a third party. One of the indicia of curbstoning is that the title is not in the seller's name and that would be enough to start an investigation. Title to the vehicle in your situation is not in your name, so if the buyer wants to report you as curbstoning and the investigation reveals that title was not in your name, then you could find yourself in a lot of trouble. Exchanging keys in Virginia does not change this fact, it is going to make a stronger case against you.


I don't know what your profit margin is, but it certainly cannot be worth being investigated as curbstoning, or putting your name on a "watch list",





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